web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



On Jewish Pitchers – And Some Departed Heroes

            Jason Marquis became the first Jewish pitcher in 31 years to collect 100
career victories. Pitching for the Washington Nationals this year, Marquis (pronounced Mar-kee) earned his first big-league win ten years ago by beating the Mets at
Shea Stadium while pitching for the Atlanta Braves. Jason, who’ll turn 33 on
August 2, has also pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Colorado
Rockies.

 

A native of Manhasset, New York, and raised in a Conservative Jewish home,
Jason had a smattering of Hebrew school and a bar mitzvah. When he collects
his 108th career victory, he’ll pass Steve Stone to place third on the all-time
Jewish pitcher career win list. Sandy Koufax, who won 165 games, is in second
place and Ken Holtzman is first with 174. Holtzman also leads all Jewish
pitchers in losses with 150 (Koufax lost just 87 games).

 

Steve Stone, presently in third place, had a 107-93 career record. Marquis had
93 losses when he won his 100th game.

 

Back to Koufax for a bit. It’s hard to fathom that he’s 75 years old now and has been retired for 45 years. Jews of my generation have vivid memories of Koufax and what his pitching prowess meant to us. I was a chaplain’s assistant at Fort Dix, New
Jersey, when Koufax was in his prime in his last couple of seasons and he was
the main topic of conversation when Jewish soldiers schmoozed.

 

* * * * *

 

Baseball recently lost several remarkable personalities. I was lucky
enough to have met Duke Snider and Harmon Killebrew several times on the baseball
beat. Both were real gentle men and gentlemen. They played in the pre-steroid
era when home runs weren’t tainted.

 

Killebrew, 74 when he died, had 573 home runs to his name over a
22-year career with the Washington Senators, Minnesota Twins and Kansas City
Royals. He grew up in Idaho playing on the grass at the family home. When his
mother complained to his father about the boys using the lawn for their playing
field, Mr. Killebrew responded, “we’re raising boys, not grass.”

 

He was known as the Duke of Flatbush when he played for the Brooklyn
Dodgers and was the favorite player of many a Jewish boy in Brooklyn in the
1950s – including Rabbi Paysach Krohn.

 

Snider, 84 when he died, compiled a .295 lifetime batting average and 407
home runs in his 18 seasons (1947-1964) with Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers,
New York Mets and San Francisco Giants. Snider was at the top of his game with Brooklyn as he topped 40 or more home runs for five consecutive years (1953-1957).

 

From 1953 through 1956, Snider averaged 42 homers, 124 RBI and a .320
average. The Duke, fittingly, was the last player to hit a home run in the
history of Ebbets Field (1957).

 

For those of us who collected baseball cards in the 1950s, Gil McDougald and
Marty Marion were familiar names and faces.

 

McDougald, who spent his ten-year major-league career with the Yankees as an
infielder, died at age 82. A .276 lifetime hitter, he was a valuable member of the
Yankees, helping the club to eight World Series trips during his time in New York – all under manager Casey Stengel.

 

Marty Marion was 93 when he died. The slim, smooth-fielding shortstop spent
his entire l3-year career in St. Louis (11 with the Cardinals and two years with
the Browns of blessed memory). Marion also managed both St. Louis teams and the
Chicago White Sox.

 

 

 To order Irwin Cohen’s book about an Orthodox Jew in the baseball field, send
a check for $19.95, payable to Irwin Cohen, to: 25921 Stratford Place, Oak
Park, Mich. 48237. The book contains numerous photos of legendary players taken
by Cohen
.

About the Author: The author of 10 books, Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years and interviewed the legendary Hank Greenberg. He went on to work for a major league team and became the first Orthodox Jew to earn a World Series ring. He can be reached in his Detroit area dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “On Jewish Pitchers – And Some Departed Heroes”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Sections Stories
Nimchinsky-102414-Flag

This past summer was a powerful one for the Jewish people. I will always remember where I was on June 12th when I found out that Gilad, Eyal and Naftali were kidnapped. I will always remember the look on my sister’s face on June 30th when she told me that they were found. I will […]

Schonfeld-logo1

Avromi often put other people’s interests before his own: he would not defend people whom he believed were guilty (even if they were willing to pay him a lot of money).

Kupfer-102414

The Presbyterian Church USA voted to divest from three companies that do business with Israel.

How can I help my wife learn to say “no,” and understand that her first priority must be her husband and family?

My eyes skimmed an article on page 1A. I was flabbergasted. I read the title again. Could it be? It had good news for the Miami Jewish community.

Students in early childhood, elementary, and middle school were treated to an array of hands-on projects to create sukkah decorations such as wind chimes, velvet posters, sand art, paper chains, and more.

It is important for a therapist to focus on a person’s strengths as a way of overcoming his or her difficulties.

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

More Articles from Irwin Cohen
War hero Lou Brissi’s card was a much-sought-after one in Topps’s inaugural 1952 collection.

Many former baseball players who left us with happy memories also passed away in the past year.

Derek Jeter

“No kid is worth a million dollars to sign,” Newhouser said, “but if one kid is, it’s this kid.”

Zimmer was popular with veteran teammates like Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese and Duke Snider – and with a rookie lefthander named Sandy Koufax.

I’m sure readers noticed those full-page advertisements that ran prior to last month’s meeting about the situation at the Brooklyn home of Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff, rav of Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin. Avrohom chaired the even along with his brother Menachem, a prominent askan and the president of Lubicom.

I spoke twice during Pesach. The first topic was the Holocaust and Jewish ballplayers and the second was how I, a frum-from-birth Jew, ended up in major league baseball.

Even if a player reaches the big league level, there’s still no guarantee he’ll remain with one team for long. Former Jewish outfielder Richie Scheinblum comes to mind.

The snow has melted in most parts of the country and here in Florida, where I have my winter dugout in the Orthodox enclave of Century Village in West Palm Beach, I had the opportunity to take in several spring training games.

If you’re visiting spring training sites, Arizona has two advantages – fewer games are rained out and the facilities are much closer to each other than is the case in Florida.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sports/on-jewish-pitchers-and-some-departed-heroes-2/2011/06/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: